Manchester City Council

Libraries Ethnic minorities in our city

Manchester and slavery

Marika Sherwood's book, After Abolition: Britain and the Slave Trade since 1807 (B Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007) (306.362) includes a chapter about Manchester's impact on the slave trade. She has also published the article 'Manchester, Liverpool and slavery' in the North West Labour History Journal, 32 (Sep 2007).

The Revealing histories website is a good starting point for research into how our city was linked to slavery.

Resources we hold marked with GB are available in the search room at Central Library, please make an appointment:

  • Petition for the end of Negro apprenticeship in the British Colonies 1838 (in Manchester Borough Reeve Letter Book, ref GB127.M9/61/1/3
  • Copy of bill of charges for sale of 421 slaves, Barbados, 8 Aug 1798 (ref GB127.MISC/903/1)
  • Case and opinion of Henry Lawrence of Liverpool about money due to family of late James Walker of Cacandia, Africa, by Gilbert Henderson and Robert Sellars, his agents, for trade in slaves and ivory, 1791 to 1795. 14 May 1815 (ref GB127.M84/5/7/4)
  • Letters to Francis Taylor of Manchester from the USA Department of State to Union and Emancipation Society of Manchester, thanking them for their support over past four years, 1865 (ref GB127.MISC/953/1-3)
  • Calculations of American planters on the time and cost of clearing 600 acres of land and growing cotton using Negro labour, 1802 (ref GB127.MISC/715 p.138)
  • Manchester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society annual appeal with accounts, c.1857 (ref GB127.M162/Box 54)
  • Bequest of "Negroes by James Roberts of Tortola to his children by a free coloured woman", 1797 (ref GB127.L1/34/94)
  • Grant of property in the West Indies and "all the negroes and slaves there", 1787 (ref GB127.Deed L248).
  •  'Odds and Ends', Easter 1888, Includes article "Is he a Man and a Brother?" with sketch by E.G. Thomson of Wm. Lloyd Garrison, leader of the Anti-Slavery Movement in America (ref GB127.M38/4/2/34). [Odds and Ends was the manuscript magazine of the St Paul's Literary and Educational Society, Bennett Street Sunday School]
  • 'Odds and Ends', Easter 1890'. Includes article "Slavery as it existed in Europe" (ref GB127.M38/4/2/36). 'Odds and Ends', Easter 1865. Includes article "Slavery Past and Present" (ref GB127.M38/4/2/11).
  • Letter from Fred. W. Chesson of Manchester to the Lancashire Public School Association, [22 May 1854]. Enquires if the Anti-Slavery Society can use the Committee room (ref GB127.M136/2/3/580).
  • Letters from M/s R. Whitelerge, of Manchester to the Lancashire Public School Association, 17 Feb to 8 May 1852, 21 Oct 1854. Asks if the Ladies Anti-Slavery Committee can use the Committee room for their meeting (ref GB127.M136/2/3/3600-3603).
  • Manchester Literary Society Volume of autographs and autograph letters. Includes letter from George Thompson, anti-slavery advocate (1804 to 1878) to arrange a meeting, thanking recipient for what he/she has done for India, 8 Dec. 1840 (ref GB127.M524/13/2 p.2) and 4. Hannah Kilham, missionary, (1774 to 1832), poem 're' slavery (ref GB127.M524/13/2 p.4)
  • Letter from Mary Carpenter of Bridport, 2 Mar 1885, to Lydia Becker. Sends a speech (not enclosed) of Fred. Douglas, American anti-slavery orator, Marshall of Columbia and Registrar of Deeds in Columbia. Would like to see it in the 'Women's Suffrage Journal.' (ref GB127.M50/1/2/45 microfilm).

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